10/19/2019

Rock Review: Jesse Colin Young-Dreamers

Release Date: February 15, 2019
Label: Kani Kapila Music, LLC


Before we take a deep dive into this record, I would just like to state that the album artwork on this one is great. It has a very traditional art style to it, and the winged heart instantly makes me think of the Bon Jovi logo. Young also has a nice looking website where you can not only buy his albums, but you can also pick up a pound of 100% Kona coffee. Rock music and Kona coffee? I’d say it’s the perfect equation for a morning on island time.

Now let’s talk about music. Dreamers is the kind of album that is good for listening to dockside, with a cold drink in hand. The songs range from folk-rock to blues-rock, to a 60’s rock. This album is definitely for people who like an older style of rock ‘n’ roll. “One More Time” gets the closest to that classic rock sound. From first listen, it has a similar beginning to Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer,” and so it comes full circle.

“Look Over Yonder” has more of a blues root to it. He has incorporated horns and keys into the song, which give it that classic blues sound. It reminds me of the Sonny Boy Williamson II song “Help Me.” Young’s rock vocals give an edgier sound to the otherwise soulful blues rooted song. We also hear this blues-tude in the song “Cruising At Sunset.” The undeniable walking blues bass line kicks in right after the intro. If I had to guess, I would say that “For Orlando” is a tribute to the horrific shooting that occurred at the PULSE nightclub in 2016. With lyrics like “How do we face disaster? Bitterness, what comes after” and “We need to love each other, every sister/brother,” it seems that Young is sending the message that we cannot let another tragedy, like the one that occurred in Orlando, happen ever again.

There are only a few things that I would have changed about the album. In the mixing process, the vocals could have been made clearer and brought forward as the main focus. I think the lyrics are a little difficult to understand, but to be fair, I don’t typically listen to this type of rock music for the lyrics. Some of the songs are kind of slow for being a rock song, and an increased tempo would have given the songs a better groove, in my opinion. A lot of the songs are four to five minutes long, which is pretty long for a standard song in the modern world of production. Lastly, I think the rock songs were stronger than the blues songs on the album, and I would have loved for Young to end with these instead.

There is a good variety of genres and topics covered on the album. If you like rock music, this album is probably going to be up your ally. Or if you are going out for a day on the lake, I would pick up Dreamers, and maybe a pound of coffee, for an enjoyable escape.

Lily Clark – Berklee College of Music Intern
October 13, 2019

Tracks: 
01. Cast A Stone
02. Shape Shifters
03. Walk The Talk
04. For Orlando
05. Take Me To The River
06. They Were Dreamers
07. Cruising At Sunset
08. Lyme Life
09. Here Comes The Night
10. For My Sisters
11. While Texas Is Drowning
12. One More Time
13. On And On
14. Look Over Yonder


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Art Tawanghar-: Buddha Lounge 3 Chill New Age California

Release Date: June 13, 2019
Label: Majorhitrecords

Art Tawanghar runs his label with a stable of artists and he also creates a lot of his music under the roof of Majorhitrecords. The Buddha Lounge series is one of his many projects.

I have not heard the 1 and 2 series releases.  I came into this musical celebration on Buddha Lounge 3 Chill New Age California. I refer to it as a celebration because it truly is. 

You can call it New Age, chill, world or a combination of them all. I prefer to take the all-encompassing route as all of those genres are covered under the one roof of the Buddha Lounge 3 experience.

Art is a very gifted artist with the knack for mixing so many of the new age elements into one nice package. “Divine Chemistry” is one of the tracks with vocals. With its breathy and sedative female vocals putting you under a spell, it provides the magic ride that takes you to wherever you want to go.

Then “Conscious Dream” becomes everything with a coloring book world flair, you have the crayons to color in all the empty images in your mind. You will get a very welcomed assist from the splashes of new age and world that live and breathe in the track.

“Crystalline Grid” has a middle eastern essence to it complete with the rapid rhythm section along with succinct percussion and even a jazzy piano segment that comes marching in towards the end, just to give you something different to think about.

Those are some of the highlights I experienced on this incredible musical journey. It was quite enjoyable and uplifting from beginning to end for this music lover. Good musicianship, productive and a massive variety is what you will get on Buddha Lounge 3 Chill New Age California. If variety is your spice in life you will not get enough of this recording and it will end all too soon. I would recommend listening several times as I am sure you notice something you did not before. It is a sure thing with everything happening from track to track. This will be a delight to all new age, chill and world music fans alike.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 19, 2019

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
1. In To the Unknown
2. Divine Chemistry
3. Love Is the End
4. Ocean In a Drop
5. Conscious Dream
6. Crystalline Grid
7. Storyteller Instrumental version

 

10/18/2019

THE FINAL ON VINYL PODCAST: Interview With Todd Mosby - New Age, Jazz, Instrumental Artist

Art Rock/Post PunkReview: The Pull of Autumn-Afterglow

Release Date: July 25, 2019
Label: RBM Records

Less than a year removed from their debut release, The Pull of Autumn is back with Afterglow, a rich infusion of varied post-punk influences that take the listener to new places, feeling all-the-while like they’ve been there before. The Pull of Autumn is a Boston-based collective of members from Throwing Muses, Hood, Seasurfer, Orange Cake Mix, Hood, and Nick and the Bad Seeds. 

Arrangements are lush, and textures are as varied as the band’s contributors. Traces of influence from these artists’ former groups are unashamedly in the forefront. The fusion of talent evokes a vibe from decades ago when the punk rock attitude embraced by skilled musicians gave birth to post-punk and neo-psychedelia and modern new age. 

Reminiscent of Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs, Mark Campbell of the Nails, and David Bowie during his Berlin trilogy, Luke ‘Skyscraper’ James’ vocals are brazened if not melodramatic. On tracks such as “Trouble Time,” “Not Coming Down,” and “Hey America” there feels like an impedance mismatch between James’ vocals and the driving sonic currents flowing below. 

The most compelling parts of Afterglow are the more layered and atmospheric songs where James is not bellowing theatrically to the heavens. These are the tracks with their synth fuzz undertones and layered guitar and piano, which feel like Autumn itself. “Distance,” “They Went Up,” and “Wallow” are lo-fi works of art. “Crack the Red” sounds something from Neutral Milk Hotel while “Sitting by the Window” sounds like a lost track from Love’s “Forever Changes.” 

For me, dropping the needle on any ten seconds of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures stirs memories from a slice of time when the future felt frightening, yet full of possibilities. Similarly, The Pull of Autumn’s Afterglow emanates eerily into the present, bringing forth reverberations from a bygone age when fearless experimentation combined with post-punk narcissism evoked a haunting trepidation of the future. Through its highs and lows, darkness and light, and twists and turns, the end result of this listening journey is nothing short of exhilaration. 

Tom Endyke-MuzikMan.net Staff
October 16, 2019

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Rate The Tracks

Tracks:
01. Injure the Swallow
02. Trouble Time
03. Distance
04. They Went Up …
05. Haunted by the Rain
06. Coming Down
07. The Stars or The Jungle
08. Crack the Red
09. Sitting by the Window
10. Sacred Ground
11. Equinox
12. Colder House
13. Stained Glass Windows
14. Hey America!
15. Wallow 


10/17/2019

Alt-Rock-Prog-Pop Review: Sharon Lia Band-Beyond Wonderland

Release Date: August 22, 2019
Label: Sharrick Records

Sharon Lia leads from the front in the epic and emotive, Beyond Wonderland, the debut album from the Philadelphia-based band of her namesake. The ever-versatile Sharon chaperones us through the album’s varying themes with her compelling lead vocals and adept piano performances. The singer is at once soulful and candid on this collection, which is an ethereal meeting point of joy and nostalgia, of a past to be forgotten and a future to be fought for. The luscious instrumentation provided by guitarist Rick Jannotti and drummer Howie Fallon bolster the touching, thought-provoking message of this work. While the trio hasn’t struck gold with this debut, it’s clear they’re not far off.

After a brooding beginning, “Sick Addiction” explodes into a badass crescendo of electrifying guitar and thumping percussion. The tormented lyrics showcase Sharon Lia Band’s talent for creating sensational, melodic rock with a twist of poignant tenderness. On the aptly named “Anomie,” Sharon’s harmonious, gentle vocals paint the portrait of a woman let down and misunderstood by her society. Over a celestial arrangement, the defiant singer highlights the power of determination, self-realization, and grit.

“Why Can’t We Pretend?” is a gorgeous, sentimental and dreamy track. It boasts a blissful string section, a triumphant drum kick, and Sharon’s vocal prowess is given the space and backing to fully flourish. On “Hanging by a Thread” the singer similarly wows with an immaculate vocal performance. This track immediately grabs attention with a cadenced organ, crisp drums, and bluesy bass. Despite the smooth, polished sound of this track, the lyrics allude to a tense precarity, an uncertain danger, an imminent threat. This sensitivity is what adds layers of meaning to the band’s particular alternative-rock sound.

The tracklisting is masterful here as the band follows the melancholic end of “Hanging by a Thread” with the confident, sexy, strutting opening of “Free to Fall.” The beat oozes tenacity made up of a quivering electric guitar, a celestial synth, and a rapping drumbeat. The singer’s soaring voice proclaims fearlessness, boldness, and freedom. Then, Sharon Lia Band gifts us their unique take on a rock ballad in “Hunter and Slayer.” It’s tinkling piano and soft string section elicit a mysterious, fairytale feeling. While Sharon’s graceful singing evokes images of a somber, smoky bar-room performance one could only find in a black-and-white film.

On the album’s finale, “Beyond Wonderland.” a lurking bass line is joined by cracking drums while an electric guitar looms in the background, waiting to emerge noisily for the sensational climax. The brazen lyrics deal with the voyage of life, creativity, and self-discovery. It generates a feeling of harmonious completion, as the outro begins, we hear birds chirping and the soft sound of rainfall.  

The ambition and confidence needed to actualize this debut album’s grand vision show Sharon Lia Band has the attributes for a bright future in music. Beyond Wonderland is sure to leave you looking forward to this band’s next adventure.

Key Tracks Include: “Hanging by a Thread”, “Free to Fall”, and “Hunter and Slayer”

Nicholas Lane-MuzikMan.net Staff
October 17, 2019

REVIEWS PROVIDED BY:

Tracks:
1. Sick Addiction
2. Anomie
3. Why Can’t We Pretend?
4. Hanging by a Thread
5. Free to Fall
6. Hunter and Slayer
7. Beyond Wonderland

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